ISLAMABAD - The protesting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has made its mind to say goodbye to parliamentary politics while ruling PML-N stalwarts are divided whether let PTI lawmakers leave National Assembly or convince them to return.

The Nation learnt on Sunday that Speaker Ayaz Sadiq who has summoned PTI lawmakers on October 29 for verifying their resignations, will make last ditch effort to persuade the lawmakers not to resign.

Some in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) want the speaker to accept PTI resignations while others in the ruling party want that PTI members be convinced through talks to resume attending sessions of the lower house.

Similarly, lawmakers in PTI too are reluctant in tendering resignations from National Assembly as according to insiders, only four heavyweights want 34 MNAs to quit the assembly.

The government high ups too has made their mind to inform Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) about the acceptance of the PTI resignations and subsequently the ECP would announce the schedule for the bye-polls on the vacant seats after notification of the resignations.

“Frankly speaking, I want PTI MNAs to come back to National Assembly and register their protest inside the house. Holding by-polls on 34 vacant seats is not easy task to do.

The government will mobilise machinery and would be engaged for next eight months to conduct polls,” Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab told The Nation on phone Sunday.

He added that all the political parties that had representation in both houses of parliament wanted PTI to raise its voice inside the house instead of crying on roads. “We did not accept their resignations even after the lapse of two months. As a politician, I want PTI to raise its voice on the forum that is destination of every politician,” the minister said.

On Friday, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq sent notices to 25 MNAs of the PTI, asking them to personally appear before him on October 29 so that he could forward their resignations to the ECP for further process.

A ruling party MNA said Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had been subjected to criticism inside the party for sleeping over the acceptance of PTI MNAs although some federal ministers and PML-N members suggested soothing of the angry lawmakers in order to avoid another political turmoil.

Mehmood Khan Achakzai, chief of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), according to sources, is among others who favour acceptance of the resignation of PTI MNAs. “Achakzai has floated a suggestion that all political forces will field joint candidates during by-election on seats vacated by PTI,” an insider said.

A key PTI leader told The Nation that Imran Khan and some of his close aides wanted party lawmakers to quit National Assembly as they believe it would intensify the anti-government agitation and PTI would emerge as genuine opposition party.

However, PTI does not intend to quit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government apparently because the provincial government will earn seats for PTI in the Senate. “We are eyeing seats in Senate and KP assembly would help us in that regard,” a PTI leader said.

A senior ECP official said that the commission was ready to hold bye-elections anytime within 60 days as per the constitution after the speaker intimidates the ECP about the acceptance of resignations. To a question whether holding the by-election on nearly three dozen constituencies would be a challenging task for the commission, he argued the commission successfully held by-polls on 42 vacant seats on August 22, 2013.



APP adds: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid has said that the sit-ins have yielded no positive result despite spending billions of rupees.

Talking to Pakistan Television (PTV), he said that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan could present his stance in the Parliament which would have had an impact.

He said that Imran Khan wanted to resolve issues by force instead of democratic manner; however, the government had never closed its doors for a dialogue and Opposition Jirga was also making its efforts in this regard.

Replying to a question about resignations of PTI MNAs, Pervaiz Rashid said that it was the duty of the National Assembly speaker to accept resignation of any member after verifying that the same was submitted by him.

Imran Khan has barred the party’s MNAs from going to Speaker National Assembly’s chamber individually, as he wanted to appear in front of the speaker en-bloc, he added.

He said that free environment should be given to a member of the National Assembly for giving explanation regarding his resignation, whether he was resigning with free will or under pressure.

Replying to another question regarding firing on borders with India and Iran, the Minister said Pakistan was making diplomatic efforts while Pakistan Army was giving a befitting reply to Indian forces on the Line of Control and Working Boundary.

Pervaiz said that all the parliamentary parties on numerous occasions had requested Imran Khan to give priority to national interests under prevailing conditions, so that the country’s economy could be improved.

He said that the government was striving to maintain internal stability for strengthening the economy.

The minister appreciated the setting up of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, with Pakistan being part of the project.